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A Mind for Trade coverA Mind for Trade by Andre Norton and Sherwood Smith

Published by Tor Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

A Mind for Trade is the sequel to Derelict for Trade. In this novel, the crew of the Solar Queen have landed an excellent mining contract. However, things may not be nearly easy for them, for it turns out that there is already a mining colony on the planet. These people are the survivors of the original crew of the North Star, which was attacked by pirates. They already have ammassed a substantial amount of the vital ore, using a biotech system (the mining slugs). However, their efforts have been hampered by mysterious creatures which move amidst fogs during the day and whose touch is lethal.

While the crew of the Solar Queen are sorting this out, their compatriots aboard the North Star in orbit are dealing with another group of pirates. Using orbital mechanics and the ever-growing activity of the system's primary, they work desperately to elude their pursuers.

On the planet's surface, the intrepid heroes discover that their troublesome fits of intermittant telepathy can actually enable them to survive contact with the elusive natives. However, this means that everything has changed. Now that the planet has sapient natives, they no longer have a contract to mine ore. They must then find a way to save the Floaters and get themselves safely off the planet.

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Review posted May 19, 1999

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